FREE SHIPPING in CANADA for orders over $35


272 pages
Published:   June 16, 2020
Non-Fiction  /  Nature
Paperback:   9781773100883   $22.95

A canoe trip that spans decades of historical reflection, offering a unique perspective on the Restigouche, its impact on the people who live beside and along the river, and their impact on this natural phenomenon.

The Restigouche River flows through the remote border region between the provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick, its magically transparent waters, soaring forest hillsides, and population of Atlantic salmon creating one of the most storied wild spaces on the continent. In Restigouche, writer Philip Lee follows ancient portage routes into the headwaters of the river, travelling by canoe to explore the extraordinary history of the river and the people of the valley. They include the Mi’gmaq, who have lived in the Restigouche valley for thousands of years; the descendants of French Acadian, Irish, and Scottish settlers; and some of the wealthiest people in the world who for more than a century have used the river as an exclusive wilderness retreat.

The people of the Restigouche have long been both divided and united by a remarkable river that each day continues to assert itself, despite local and global industrial forces that now threaten its natural systems and the survival of the salmon. In the deep pools and rushing waters of the Restigouche, in this place apart in a rapidly changing natural world, Lee finds a story of hope about how to safeguard wild spaces and why doing so is the most urgent question of our time.
+Show more


A journalist, lecturer, and bestselling writer, Philip Lee began his career as an investigative reporter on Canada’s east coast. Restigouche emerged from his long-standing interest in rivers and the people who love them. His first book, Home Pool: The Fight to Save the Atlantic Salmon, grew out of his award-winning reporting on the decline of the Atlantic salmon. Lee is also the author of Frank: The Life and Politics of Frank McKenna, a national bestseller, and Bittersweet: Confessions of a Twice-Married Man, which was long-listed for the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction.

A professor at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, Lee developed the Dalton Camp lecture series, broadcast annually by CBC Radio’s Ideas and edited The Next Big Thing (a published collection from the lectures). When he is not writing and teaching, Lee spends as much time as he can following the currents of rivers.


"Magnificent. A grand and sweeping tale that is also the story of New Brunswick, of the Maritimes, of Canada. What Philip Lee has done in Restigouche is compose a compelling, poetic love letter to the forever river of his life. This book is his plea for conservation, protection, and restoration. But it is also, happily, a book filled with love of the river and hope for its future." — Roy MacGregor

"A brilliant work; a living, breathing and truly unforgettable account of the great Restigouche River by a master chronicler of our natural world." — David Adams Richards

"Journey down an ancient wild river with a seasoned river man and gifted storyteller. Hear the aspirations and hearts of the original river people of this land called Mi'gmag'i and the newcomers who have grown to love this river and the gifts she shares with all who take the time." — Cecelia Brooks

"In this love story about a wild river, a metaphor for all love stories about wild places, Lee describes the intricate and intimate experience, the profound caring, and deep pleasures of a long-term relationship and, in the telling, connects us with All That Is." — Freeman Patterson

"Using an ambitious canoe trip as the structure for his story, Lee takes readers through calm waters, white rapids and occasional portages to share the many characters and events that have shaped the region’s rich history. The journey is long, deep and involved, but moves with a comfort and confidence rarely found in texts of this complexity." — Grid City Magazine

"From its geological origins, to the importance of this vast watershed to First Nations and early settlers alike, Philip Lee’s latest book, Restigouche: The Long Run of the Wild River, covers much ground, or more accurately water." — Atlantic Salmon Journal

"This stunning book published by Goose Lane Editions is a beautiful and poetic love letter to one of Canada's most beautiful rivers and you need it on your coffee table now." — [EDIT]ION

"Restigouche is a paean for the river that flows for 200 kilometres through the remote border region between New Brunswick and Quebec, a river with beautifully transparent waters, forest hillsides and Atlantic salmon, and for the people who have lived beside and from the river for thousands of years." — Winnipeg Free Press

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews Write a review